Cooking with love – pizza

Did you know.. using ‘good intentions’ when cooking, can literally pass ‘love’ (well that energy) onto your food?  I won’t go into quantum science here but even if unsure, everyone loves a meal cooked by someone else!

Hence I encourage the boys to help me prepare some of our meals, with love!  The perfect tool to do this is with a Kiddies Food Kutter safety knife (thanks to Feeding Two Growing Boys blog for spreading the word and yes, go and check out these safety knives to get your little ones helping out too!).  This is a brilliant little knife that is completely blunt to the touch but with a sawing action, will cut through foods such as mushrooms, zucchini and watermelon.  Great for working little hands, Master 3.5 manages to cut the mushrooms into pieces and Master 22 months has fun stabbing his knife through them!  And of course I don’t miss a language-learning opportunity providing words such as ‘back and forward’ and ‘teeth down’ (the knife’s cutting edge).  Oh and not to forget our classical music while we work 🙂

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The boys love to help me cut the mushrooms for our dinner and take their work very seriously, giving me time to prepare the rest of the dinner while I’m waiting!

Due to the boys’ intolerances, we have not had pizza in over a year.  Master nearly 2 didn’t really know what one was!  This is what we put on our gluten-free, dairy-free, preservative-free base (we will make them one day…!).

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  • tomato paste + pesto (lots)
  • chicken
  • cherry tomatoes
  • avocado
  • sweet potato
  • fried mushrooms
  • basil
  • toasted pine nuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds
  • and yes no cheese…!

It was delicious and the boys were happy to eat some pizza, made with love 🙂 Heidi

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Zucchini + peeler + fry = zoodles!!

What better way to get extra nutrients into your little one, avoiding grains and making a tasty dinner too?

I peel a mountain of zucchini, which doesn’t take as long as you’d think, then fry it until it goes nice and soft. We use coconut or macadamia oil on medium heat to fry as these oils can withstand heat without becoming carcinogenic.  Yummy things to go in this dish can be garlic, onion, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, basil and then top it off with some fresh avocado and roasted/crushed nuts and seeds (hazelnuts and sunflower seeds were the latest).

To entice the kids in, I didn’t use the word ‘zucchini’ but played up ‘zoodles’ from the beginning.  And get them started by giving them a piece that doesn’t have any green skin on it, so they get hooked by the flavour!

Let me know what you put with your zoodles?

🙂 Heidi

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Taking the time to be myself…and a parent

Is there anything you would change about the way you parent? Is there something you wish to do for yourself that would make you an even better parent? It’s not too late to make changes!
In the name of inspiring others to LIVE LIFE in order to help your kids LIVE LIFE, I’m putting myself out there & sharing the piece of paper I went to town on with (hopefully) all of the things that matter to me PLUS 2014 ‘goals’ & ‘aspirations’ (I feel these terms mean business more than ‘new year’s resolutions’).
this is me on paper! what will the kids think?

this is me on paper! what will the kids think?

I’ve never done this before & have been surprised with the clarity it’s given me of what I aim to be, grow towards and model for my kids. It’s also helped to talk about this TOGETHER with my husband to increase unity, motivation and direction.
And of course, in good time, I’ll slowly be working away at defining each of the words in age-appropriate language to the kids & reminding them of how I am achieving these goals.

Will you take a piece of paper and an hour out of your schedule to write down what will matter to you in 2014? 🙂 Heidi

‘Flavour’ is taking over nutrition

Did you know…’flavour’ on an ingredient list is a great word for a company to disguise any number of chemicals, that are made in a factory (yes even the ‘natural flavour’ ones) and have been shown to be responsible for a number of health complaints and also many undesirable behaviours in children (from sleep issues to inattention to defiance, restlessness and excess tantrums).
Do your kids eat foods witch ‘flavour’ added? And besides, adding ‘flavour’ without the wholefood means a child is missing out on nutrition…

My wee goes purple?!!

Tonight’s challenge for Master 3 – try the beetroot/carrot/coriander salad…’Negative first reaction’ took hold so I helped him by:
– modelling eating it
– showing my ‘cool purple’ tongue (by this stage he’s reaching for the spoon)
– and then I went for it knowing he was about to have a first taste – ‘did you know that if you eat enough beetroot, you can have purple wee?’ (and he took MOUTHFULS!)

We then discussed how the purple goes all the way through our body and comes out through the bladder/penis. A little bit of science for a lot of beetroot! Hooray!
ps – the water was to encourage some purple wee..

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We are at Facebook too – I raise my kids… 🙂 Heidi

Deconstructed kid’s meals

Keep in mind ‘mixed textures’ (such as chunky soups, casseroles, stirfries, pasta/rice/bowl dishes) can be very difficult for your child’s sensory system to cope with. It can be easier to serve the meal ‘deconstructed’ – think veges, meat etc all served apart. This gives your little one a chance to discover each food for itself and not be trying to deal with many textures and flavours at once.
It doesn’t mean you can’t put some sauce or flavour over the meal though!

Your child’s sensory system will cope more easily with textures that are similar (think grated veges in bolognaise or dhal/lentils), but don’t forget your child still needs to be exposed to the vegetables and meat in their real form for their sensory system to develop.

Here is an example:
– adult dish – quinoa, mushrooms, chicken, medium boiled egg, onion, avocado, peas and sesame oil dressing and possibly chilli flakes
– kids version – quinoa with sesame oil on top, everything else separated on the side, no chilli.

Toy or treat?

With Halloween coming up, a few questions come to my mind.  Are we here in Australia, just taking on an American tradition that has nothing to do with us?  Am I relenting to marketing by those companies that convince us to buy the lollies and paraphernalia?  Am I promoting unhealthy eating for other children, when I wouldn’t be happy with my children tucking into a bucket of lollies?  Or is this just a fun occasion that happens once a year when children can dress up and do something different?

I don’t think Halloween will be going away any time soon, so I guess we are embracing the ‘fun side’!  However, I just don’t feel right buying lollies (we gave out over a packet of lollies last year we saw so many kids at the door) when I wouldn’t condone it for my kids and goes against my ‘teaching kids good eating habits’ principles.  So!  We’ve decided to break a bit of the tradition and find something else to give out.  I love that a dentist friend gave out toothbrushes one year.  But I’m not affording handouts that pricey!

So we came up with these!  We have found out Master 3 is intolerant to latex but we hadn’t gotten around to giving away his water balloons.  So Master 3 will help us to give them out to the kids (maybe with some spooky gloves on!?).  I took the opportunity to talk to him also about why we aren’t going to give them lollies.

halloween

What does everyone else give out?

Happy Halloween!!

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Cruuuuunch!

[18 months +] Knowing that raw veges are so healthy yet Master 3 doesn’t have the attention to stay crunching at the table until they are all done, I have decided to allow some ‘unconscious eating’ in front of the TV. So instead of one green bean and maybe a bit of carrot at the table, he will polish off a few green beans, half a celery stick, a whole carrot and some pieces of cucumber in one sitting!

But I make it clear, ‘only crunchy veges with these shows’.

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The thing is, I’ve realised Master 3 still won’t have the attention to eat all of the above veges at the table before the big 4 years of age. This is the age when according to research, the majority of a child’s food preferences are set in.

Master 19 months is just being exposed to these raw veges to have a play with and put his teeth into.

Raw veges not only provide great nutrients but are also alkalising. And knowing that disease and cancer can only survive in an acidic environment in your body, I will be educating the boys that they need to keep up the alkaline foods to keep good health.

Any thoughts from anyone??

Out with the processed foods, hello wholefoods – Chookie’s Cookies

[12 months +]  So who is interested in cooking and baking without refined sugars?  It just doesn’t make sense to use refined sugar with all the health issues it brings (more on that later) when you can make tasty food without it.  So, I am turning to Wholefood Simply on Facebook for delicious baking ideas that involve wholefoods and nothing processed or refined like sugar.  You can do it too, just check out the recipes and you will see it just requires replacing a few things in your pantry.  Things like desiccated coconut or coconut oil (extra good fats), tahini (great source of calcium) and dates (sweet yet nutritious).  Bianca was inspired to create these recipes after witnessing young children eating bags of lollies and chocolate bars and knew there was better treats!

Baking is not a common occurrence in our kitchen after I have made all of our staples and nor do I want the boys to expect ‘sweet stuff’ all the time.  But I’m sure as they start to discover the processed foods out there, I will be baking more 🙂

We buy tahini by the bucket as it is so good for salad dressings, quick addition on pasta for the boys, or even on toast.  And of course our weekly batch of hummous.  I used the tahini in these cookies so the boys could take them to daycare (nut-free).

tahini by the bucketload

tahini by the bucketload

Here is the link to Chookie’s Cookies on Wholefood Simply’s website, otherwise check out the recipe below.  Yum!

Chookies Cookies

150 grams (approximately 3/4 cup) roasted almond butter (for a nut free version use hulled tahini or sunflower seed butter)

150 grams cooled roast pumpkin or pumpkin puree (approximately 3/4 cup)

150 grams (1.5 cups) desiccated coconut (finely shredded dried coconut)

6 medjool dates, deseeded

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celcuis or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a tray with baking paper.

Place the ingredients into your food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until well combined and your dates are chopped. Using your hands shape the mixture into cookies and place on your oven tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool. Enjoy.

whole foods only thanks

whole foods only thanks

Organic fruit & veg – start here!

image by : blog.mothersorganichealth.com

image by : blog.mothersorganichealth.com

So you’re thinking about buying organic fruit and veges? If you’re struggling with the price, start by seeking out the ‘Dirty Dozen’ without the chemicals. These are the ones that receive the most sprays and/or have thin skins which absorb far more than others.

See I Raise My Kids for more posts from the previous week – National Organic Week 🙂